Friday, September 20, 2013
AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Ed Thigpen Rhythm Features
Album:The Element Of Swing
Drummer Ed Thigpen is probably best known for his early 60s stint with Oscar Peterson. But he recorded as a sideman for plenty of musicians and occasionally as a leader. He moved to Denmark in the 70s and lived there until his 2010 death. Because of his understated musicianship and he was always well dressed, he was known as Mr. Style. He was born Dec. 28, 1930 in Chicago. His father was drummer Ben Thigpen of Andy Kirk's Clouds Of Joy. When his parents split up in 1935, Thigpen moved with his mother from St. Louis to Los Angeles. He attended Thomas Jefferson High School along with Dexter Gordon and Chico Hamilton. Thigpen moved to New York in 1951 and his first professional gig was with former Duke Ellington trumpeter Cootie Williams. Then he played on plenty of sessions and was drummer for pianist Billy Taylor from 1956-59. Thigpen really wanted to work with Oscar Peterson. Peterson was forming a new band in 1959 and Thigpen and bassist Ray Brown were hired. Thigpen even moved to Toronto for a time. He left Peterson's band in 1964. Thigpen recorded a couple of albums for Verve while in the Peterson band. And then he moved to Los Angeles to work as a studio musician. He joined Ella Fitzgerald's touring band in 1967 because he wanted to work with pianist Tommy Flanagan. He left that band in 1972 and then moved to Copenhagen, Denmark in 1974. After that he worked with local jazz musicians and would back up traveling American musicians. In 1990, Thigpen started recording for the Danish jazz label Stunt Records. In 1998, he formed the trio Rhythm Features with pianist Carsten Dahl and bassist Jesper Bodilsen. For this 2002 CD The Elements Of Swing recorded live at the Copenhagen Jazzhouse, sax player Joe Lovano was special guest. Chelsea Bridge is a jazz standard written by Billy Strayhorn and originally recorded by Duke Ellington. If you like straight ahead jazz, this is for you. Ed Thigpen suffered from Parkinsons disease and died on Jan. 13, 2010 at age 79. Here's Ed Thigpen Rhythm Features featuring Joe Lovano performing Chelsea Bridge at Copenhagen Jazzhouse 2001.